How to spend the Carnival? Traditions, holiday history
This bright holiday of farewell to the winter began to celebrate several thousand years ago. Of course, in those early days, customs were different. The Slavs worshiped the elements and natural phenomena, pagan tradition and gave birth to Pancake week.
This is one of the few holidays that came to us almost in its original form. With the advent of Christianity, Slavic customs began to be actively eradicated. Perhaps Pancake week has survived because the tradition of meeting spring was consonant with Christian values. Today people are waiting for this holiday since the winter, presenting how they will eat delicious pancakes and talk in a friendly company. Children themselves create a scarecrow, which is then burned with their parents.
History of celebration
Those who are interested in how to spend Maslenitsa, you must first learn about the history of the holiday, which carries a lot of interesting facts. Everyone knows that this holiday symbolizes the departure of winter and calls for spring. Initially, it was celebrated on the day of the spring solstice, and after the christening of Russia was postponed for a week before the Great Lent. So the pagan tradition became an official church holiday. And now the Maslenitsa week is not tied to a specific day, but is celebrated according to the number of Easter falls, and the scarecrow is burned on Sunday.
Maslenitsa has many other, pagan, names, for example Pancake, Colody, Hollow, Maslenaya, Krivosheika.
Customs of the Carnival celebration
Previously, the festivities for Shrovetide lasted a whole week. Slavs not only ate pancakes and burned a scarecrow, but also arranged dances and gatherings. It was believed that the fun will attract a rich harvest, and it should be asked in the spring - before the start of the planting season.
Now many events are held in honor of this celebration. Pancake week in the park is a good idea for relaxing with children and familiarizing them with Russian history and traditions.
The Carnival season can be divided into two parts: the Shrove Carnival (the first three days are celebrated) and the Wide (the last four). In the first days it was allowed to work and engage in economic troubles. In the last work was strictly forbidden, it was possible only to bake pancakes, go on a visit and make merry ceremonies. Now they are walking not only in the villages, but also in the big cities. Particularly cheerful turns Carnival in Moscow. People are walking in the park. Gorky (metro station Oktyabrskaya), in the park "Museon" (Krymsky Val), in Babushkinsky Park. Not less popular parks are Lianozovsky, Ostankinsky, Izmailovsky and others.
How are the festivities going?
In parks there are fairs, courtyards are created, imitating ancient Russian settlements, all rites and beliefs are "resurrected." Performing musical groups, representing ethno, rock and folk trends. Children can play in the historical thematic games organized for them by the organizers of the holiday. People are treated to pancakes and tea. Those who wish can participate in contests and win prizes.
Each day has its own name and customs that accompany it. Monday is the Maslenitsa meeting. In ancient times on this day it was customary to visit my parents. A good husband had to let his wife go to visit his father and mother. And in the evening the whole family gathered together and made plans for the holiday. It was on Monday that it was decided who would be invited to visit, what would be cooked.
There is another custom - to bake the first pancake and give it to a beggar. It was believed that a good deed would be reckoned by deceased relatives. On Monday they were preparing a scarecrow. The doll was made from the materials that were at hand - old rags and straw. The scarecrow was seated in a sleigh and carried around the village. So began the Carnival. Sunday is the day when the scarecrow was burned.
Tuesday is a holiday of jokes and laughter. It was necessary to play someone. The same day the youth was having fun. Unmarried girls and single boys went together to ride sleighs and eat food. Often on Tuesday, matchmaking took place.
Wednesday is a mother-in-law's day. She invited her son-in-law to taste pancakes, which she prepared herself. On this day it was customary to leave all family quarrels aside and thank mother-in-law for a good daughter.
Thursday is the beginning of the Wide Carnival. Work from this day was forbidden. All the works stopped, and the folk festivities began on Shrovetide. This day has many traditional names: Fracture, Razgulay, Kolodka, Vlasya. It was customary to organize skating and races on sleighs, drive dances and conduct competitions in physical strength.
In the evening, the people walking up to the house sat down for a meal. And in the twilight they made huge bonfires, sang songs and jumped through the fire. It was believed that on Thursday everyone should leave their quarrels and negative energy in the past. For this, fist fights were arranged, when everyone could count with the offender and safely forget about the strife.
Friday is the day when my mother-in-law was already visiting her son-in-law. Pancakes should have been prepared by the wife. On Friday they rested from a noisy festival and spent the day with their families.
Saturday is the day in which all young daughters-in-law were invited to invite their gilded and presented them with something as a gift. Also invited to visit the whole family of her husband. In the Christian tradition, Saturday is the day of the celebration of the Cathedral of the Reverend Fathers.
A week passes, and the end of the festivities comes to an end, the Carnival begins. Sunday is the day when there is a pre-war period before the Great Lent. It has long been customary to behave modestly, noisy celebrations were not encouraged. Now this day is called Forgiven Sunday. By tradition, a scarecrow was burned, which was prepared on Monday. Asked forgiveness from relatives and friends. It was believed that it was necessary to apologize even to those who did not do evil. In response, it was necessary to say: "God will forgive."
Those who want to know how to hold Pancake week in accordance with ancient customs, it will be interesting to read about the traditional symbols of the celebration. This holiday brought to the present such a famous saying, "The first pancake is a lump." Few people know that in the primary version, it sounded like "The first pancake - to comas".
The first delicacy was given to the poor, and then it was the turn to feed the bears - the coma. In the Old Russian state, an adult brown bear was called a lump and was revered as the owner of the forest. In some northern regions, he was fed first, and only then - poor and poor. They arranged a solemn rite of awakening the beast from hibernation.
It was accepted to put on the table additional plates and appliances, as if inviting deceased relatives to share food with the living now and also rejoice in the spring. Scarecrow symbolized not only the cold and winter, but also death. It was believed that the ritual bonfire would scare away adversity and call for spring and warmth.
The most important symbol is pancakes. Without them, not a single day of the Maslenitsa week could be treated. Pancakes were chosen because they resemble the sun, and fatty foods symbolize life and joy.
Each hostess had her own recipes for Shrovetide. They were accepted to be kept secret and to surprise visitors with unusual dishes. How to spend the Shrovetide is not only fun, but also delicious? You need to learn from the ancient Slavs.
Some traditional recipes for Shrovetide have survived to this day. Here are the most successful and simple: in a plastic bottle (of course, a few centuries ago they did not do that, but it is a good lifhak for culinary specialists - it is very convenient to pour the liquid dough into a frying pan), mix 0.5 liters of milk, a little sugar and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil , a couple of eggs, a pinch of salt and a half cup of flour. Shake well. The dough is ready.
A great recipe for gourmets: mix 250 ml of water, milk and plain yogurt, add 2 eggs, add salt, sugar, flour (one and a half glasses) and a pinch of baking powder. Stir and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Bake like ordinary pancakes.
Each housewife tries to diversify the usual pancakes with original fillings. Women wrap up various ingredients in them, come up with interesting combinations of them. The most unusual can be called such combinations of products for the filling: avocado and bacon, cheese with mold and garlic, herring and pickled cucumbers.
How to spend the Shrovetide according to the Slavic custom? Previously, the winter holidays were celebrated for two weeks. I must say that the ancient Slavs possessed an uncommon reserve of health - a joke or a walk for 14 consecutive days! According to the pagan traditions, Maslenitsa began a week before the spring equinox and ended 7 days after it.
For those who want to plunge into paganism Pancake week in the park is not suitable. All two weeks the Slavs worshiped the god Jaryla - the patron of the sun and life. He was also considered the patron of the men's and women's strengths, so young and free girls were especially active. It was believed that Yarilo would help melt the snow and warm the ground for sowing, and young boys and girls - find their own destiny and create a strong family.
Where did the name come from
The word "carnival" is a tribute to the Christian tradition. This means that a week before the post is allowed to eat butter, fish and milk. But eating meat is prohibited. There is another interesting variant from linguists and historians: some scholars believe that the name is associated with the Slavic goddess Lelei (Maslenitsa is one of her names). She was considered the patroness of beauty and could appear in the guise of a tender maiden or a busty beauty. At Shrovetide, she appeared to the people with rosy cheeks, full of health and vitality. She was one of the most revered goddesses of the Slavic pantheon, but information about it is almost not preserved.